UAE is one of the most fast growing and luxurious countries in the world. Known for its sky-high towers, out of this world dining and a lifestyle like no other. Since UAE is a Muslim country, the legal system is based on Sharia Law as per Islamic principles. Those living in UAE must be aware of the restrictions, penalties, and fines there are and avoid doing anything that might get them in trouble. There are various well-known laws in UAE, but the lesser-known restrictions often get overlooked. So, let’s look at some UAE laws that you probably had no idea existed.
1. Taking photos of people without their permission
Not many people are aware of this but taking photos of people without their permission is taken very seriously here. The UAE is very strict about preserving the privacy of individuals and if you snap a photo of someone without their knowledge or consent, you can face serious charges. This is further heightened if you post these images on social media platforms. According to the cybercrime laws in UAE, you can get a fine of up to AED 500,000 and can be jailed for six months for this offence. Depending on the severity of the case, you can also get deported. So, the next time you get into an argument with someone and take a picture of them without their knowledge, think twice before doing so.
2. Fundraising or sharing a fundraiser online
Raising money for charitable causes close to your heart can be a tricky business in the UAE. To raise funds, you must first get your fundraiser approved by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD), to ensure that these funds do not end up in the wrong hands. Publicizing your fundraiser on social media and appealing for donations without permission from the government goes against UAE’s charity laws. You can face some pretty serious consequences for this offence like imprisonment, fines between AED 250,000 and 500,000 and even deportation. So, the next time you’re thinking of sharing or even reposting a fundraiser on Instagram without permission think of these severe punishments before doing so.
3. Swearing and making indecent gestures
People with a short temper, take note. It is a very serious offence to swear or make any indecent gestures while driving or otherwise in the UAE. Using vulgar or obscene language or making rude or indecent gestures in public can get you arrested. Depending on the language or gesture used, you can even get deported. Giving the finger, pulling out your tongue and even a somewhat aggressive hand move are all considered indecent. According to UAE’s Code of Conduct, the use of vulgar language can land you jail time of up to 6 months or get you a very heavy fine. Making offensive hand gestures is also punishable by law.
4 .Taking and sharing pictures of road accidents
Besides taking pictures of people without their permission, it is also prohibited to snap and share pictures of military buildings, courts, and road accidents you see on your way home. Doing so will leave you at risk of deportation and get you a heavy fine between AED 50,000 and AED 3 million. This also extends to taking pictures of aviation accidents. According to, UAE’s Ministry of Interior snapping photos or videos of traffic accidents and circulating it on social networking sites is a violation of the law. It is also illegal to post images or videos of aviation accidents. Those found guilty can face up to imprisonment and/or a fine between Dhs50,000 and Dhs3 million, as well as deportation.
5 . Giving a Bounced Cheque
A cheque is bounced when the amount on the cheque doesn’t match the amount in your bank account. Writing and giving someone a bounced cheque is a very serious criminal offence in UAE. In case of a bounced cheque, penalty includes imprisonment of up to 1 month to 3 years. So, make sure there are sufficient funds in your accounts and only then issue a cheque or else you’ll have to face serious criminal charges.
6 . Having a dirty car
With UAE being a desert that frequently experiences sandstorms, dusty cars would be a common thing. However, dirty cars are seen as disfiguring the city image and public health. Due to which, they are towed away, and owners are faced with fines and impound fees of AED 3,000. Besides that, washing your car incorrectly and purposely not repairing it and still using it after an accident is also an offence and can get you some pretty heavy fines.